Here we are for week 3 of Finance Fridays. As I have contemplated the issue of money, how I spend it, what it means in my life, and what I am trying to feel through the use of it, I have come back, again and again, to the idea of the consciousness of abundance vs.the consciousness of poverty.
This is a beautiful concept that illustrates the very most generous and loving of understanding and being. The idea of living with a consciousness of abundance is that no matter how little we have, we always feel that it is enough and that our lives are full and 'abundant'. We do not compare our material wealth to others. On the other hand, a consciousness of poverty leaves people feeling that no matter how much they have, it is never enough. They always want more and are constantly comparing themselves to those that have more material wealth.
Cultivating a consciousness of abundance can be very difficult, however. It's hard to see people in your peer group buying bigger and bigger houses, getting nicer and nicer cars, and having toys and trinkets galore. They look happy with all of their things, our culture can glorify the acquisitition of stuff, and we are shown images of people with lots of stuff being very happy. Unfortunately, what isn't talked about or portrayed is that very often it is not the case that people with more stuff are happier.
There is research that shows that people who buy nice cars for the sake of having that luxury label will eventually find that having that car will lose its luster. They'll soon begin to desire a more luxurious car, and then a more luxurious car, and so on. The idea is that no matter what we get in the name of the "show of the item", it will soon not be showy enough.
So how do we start to be happy with what we have? How do we learn to live with the idea that what we have is not only enough, but more than enough?
- Notice your feelings: If you continue to watch your feelings, continue to sense the pattern in your desires, you will eventually come to an awareness that more and more is required to make you feel satisfied. When the awareness dawns, you can work to change your self talk about the things you think you want.
- Practice spirituality: When we build our spiritual reserves and find joy in our lives internally, we need less and less externally. It just works that way.
- See how those who are less fortunate than you are living: When we take the time to see how those who have less than us are living, and there is always someone with less, we can realize how much we have. It's interesting, when I go to India and have a chance to interact with people who have next to nothing, I am always struck by how fulfilled they seem. They have little, but they also have little to worry about. It's a lovely thing to notice.